Quantcast

American Girl Store at Mall of America

The American Girl store at Mall of America here in Minnesota draws doll-loving girls locally and from out of town. But I believe that’s the case for any of the American Girl locations in the United States. Long before I was a mother I remember working flights in and out of Chicago where passengers were mothers and daughters on their annual trip to the American Girl shop. I remember thinking, I’d love to do that with my daughter one day. Happily, that day recently came. Every since we moved to the Twin Cities my daughter Madeline has been dreaming of an American Girl doll.

To be honest, I didn’t know much about the store or process until last weekend but now I have an appreciation for the experience.

History. Each of the named American Girl dolls comes from a specific era, ranging from historic to modern day, and has her own books filled with stories of her life and an entire wardrobe which may include themed, casual and dressy outfits from their time period. Some of the girls’ lives are intertwined with the other dolls.

Shoppers aren’t limited to the era-inspired girls. If fact, the Mall of America store has two display cases filled with various unnamed girls with a wide selection of hair and eye color combinations so girls can choose a doll that resembles their own coloring if they wish.

Be forewarned, American Girl dolls are expensive. Every doll starts at $100 and that’s before purchasing books and accessories.

The American Girl store at Mall of America is two-levels and rather impressive. I’d like to point out some of the highlights:

Personal Shoppers. If you feel overwhelmed about where to start with your American Girl experience, the store at Mall of America has two complimentary personal shoppers. It’s best to make an appointment, especially if you’re new to American Girl and would like the full run-down on the different dolls. We walked into the store with a doll in mind – Rebbecca – but after our tour with our personal shopper Mary, the decision changed. Madeline had to decide between the Girl of the Year 2011 Kanani who hails from Hawaii or one of the traditional dolls in the series, Molly from war-era 1944. In the end, Molly won – because she has an option for a Hawaiian themed grass skirt – the best of both worlds. In addition to the doll, we opted for the Molly Accessories Set ($19 with doll/$24 solo) which includes a locket, navy beret, purse, pretend coin and a hankie with her name on it. We also bought the American Girl brush which is make specifically for the doll’s hair ($8).

What really impressed me was how good Mary was with Madeline. She was on her level the entire tour, explaining the girls and their personalities in an age-appropriate manner. Mary’s passion for American Girl dolls was apparent. When we were checking out she told Madeline how to brush Molly’s hair and to never cut it – because it won’t grow back! After arrived home Maddie kept telling me all of the different characteristics of the different dolls. I was bewildered. She had soaked up every word Mary spoke about the doll collection.

Doll Hair Salon. Going beyond the realm of shopping, American Girl offers more than just a purchase-and-leave experience. Girls can return with their doll for Doll Ear Piercing ($14) or the Spa Deluxe package ($12), where stylists give the doll a facial scrub which includes a pampering set with cucumber stickers for her eyes, nail decals, flip-flops, a salon cape and a faux face mask. The Pampering Plus package ($5 in addition to salon visit) includes a set of nail decals. The stylists also offer a hair style of the month  ($12-20).

American Girl Bistro. Our experience at the American Girl Bistro was the cherry on top. Every doll who accompanies a child (there are male dolls, too) receives a highchair that attaches to the table. But not only that, the doll also joins in the meal with a mini cup and saucer filled with lemonade – yes, the girls like to help their dolls sip the cold beverage. The adult and kid menus have a nice selection of delicious options. We’re planning to return to try the Lollipop Brownies. Our server Jasmine was fantastic, she was animated and terrific with my daughter, qualities I noticed every American Girl employee possessed.

When our food arrived, Madeline was surprised to find her fruit was cut into heart and star shapes, but she also got a kick out of the visit from Chef Chris and his American Boy chef doll AJ (personalized just for him). The pair made the rounds chatting with guests and were even kind enough to let us snap a photo. Not only is the restaurant decorated in a swanky all-girl pink theme, the American Girl Bistro has a fantastic view of Nickelodeon Universe.

Final Thought. If you’re looking for something special to do with your daughter, American Girl is a lovely option. While we were there, my husband and son were doing the “guy thing” at a Wild hockey game and we’ve decided that from now on this will be our “girl thing” to partake in from time to time. Snce our visit, my daughter hasn’t stopped talking about her American Girl store experience. I’m thrilled she’s so excited about her new doll and very happy she will have American Girl as a childhood memory.

 

 


Thank you American Girl Bistro for hosting us for lunch. The food was scrumptious, the service was superb and the entire experience was memorable!  .

10 Responses to “American Girl Store at Mall of America”

  1. 1
    Linda says:

    I’ve had a similar excellent experience at the American Girl Store at MOA, and although I was up-front that we didn’t have the money to buy a doll that day, we still encountered friendly employees who made my daughters feel special.

    We went up to the Bistro for a snack and mentioned that it was my daughter’s birthday soon. The ice-cream chef asked what she was going to eat on her birthday. A year later we returned, and the gal remembered that my daughter was the pancakes-and-cake girl. I was very impressed.

    I’m also glad that there are small dolls that are priced at just over $20, and of course the books that go along with the dolls are an entrance to history that’s perfect for beginning chapter-book readers.

    • 1.1
      TwinCitiesGal says:

      Linda,

      The service really is spectacular. That’s a great point about the small dolls. They’re very cute and easy to collect.

  2. 2
    Kara says:

    That last photo says it all! Happy girl!

  3. 3
    Jody says:

    We are headed to Chicago in a few weeks. I am terrified of the American Girl boutique because I know we just don’t have the money to buy and outfit two dolls. I’m still torn on whether or not we will visit, but you do make it sound wonderful!

  4. 4
    Ashley says:

    Just stumbled across this blog, and I love this story! I was a huuuge American Girl fan as a child and am now in my twenties and still treasure my dolls and books. I can’t wait to share them with my children someday. I would love to visit the American Girl store. American Girl was a very important part of my childhood. So nice to see it passed on to the next generation!

    • 4.1
      TwinCitiesGal says:

      Ashley,

      That will be so neat to pass along the tradition to your children!

  5. 5
    SoCalGal says:

    Do all of the historically based American Girl dolls come with their own books? I know that the one my younger daughter has, is the Great Depression one, Kitt. I admire the aspect of these dolls that teach kids a little American history.

    • 5.1
      TwinCitiesGal says:

      Yes, all of the historically based girls have personal stories/books. I think it was a brilliant idea.

  6. 6
    Laura says:

    I had no idea that the American Girl series was so big! I remember the books and dolls from when I was young but I didn’t have a clue about the depth of the brand. I love that the personal shoppers knew how to communicate with your daughter so well. What an amazing experience!

  7. 7
    Pat says:

    Just a little about my experience with American Doll. My Grandaughter turned 7 and really did not know about these Dolls. But I did as I had been getting the catalog for a long time. I surprised her with a trip to the New York store (they live in New Jersey and I visited from MO) I had set up a luncheon and a shopping trip as I had just won $1,000 on a lottery ticket. What a wonderful day. It started early and ended late. I think I was as excited or even more so than she was, but Mom and Dad came along too. She finally decided on Julie. So many choices but we got several of her outfits and other of her things. The personal shopper took us to a private room so we could see all that we had picked up and choose what was going to be taken. Julie got her ears pierced too. This was a couple years ago and my Granddaughter is still talking about that birthday. We just got a store in St Louis and I went yesterday and finally got a doll for myself. The “doll ladies” were just as sweet knowing it was for myself as they were in New York for my Granddaughter. The choice was hard so for now I settled on one of the look-a-likes. I have always loved dolls as as a small child I had 5 sisters, and we had to share, so finally I have one of my own. Thank You American Doll

Leave a Reply

*